FAST and EASY HOME-BASED THERAPY provides REAL SUSTAINABLE IMPROVEMENT for those with chronic dry eye

"A Daily Routine"

Dry Eye Risk Factors:

Computer use
Contact lens wear
Aging
Menopause
Indoor Environment
Outdoor Environment
Air Travel
Smoking
Health conditions
Medications
Eyelid problems
Eye Surgery

Read More

Do you think that you may have Chronic Dry Eye?

Answer the Dry Eye Questionnaire

Tell Me About Dry Eye Syndrome

Click the Question/Point below to View the Answer.

Tell Me About Dry Eye

Your eyes might feel dry, itchy, irritated or inflamed – maybe even as if there is sand or a foreign object in your eye... Or your have stopped wearing your contact lenses because they hurt and scratch your eyes... Or, maybe your symptoms are even more subtle. Are your eyes sometimes sensitive to light, or do they occasionally water, seem to fatigue easily, or sometimes become uncomfortable when in air conditioning or a heated room. Any one and every one can get it – the misery of Dry Eyes.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic, ongoing condition caused by a lack of lubrication and moisture on the eye’s surface. This dryness can cause a range of problems – from minor eye annoyance to significant inflammation, irritation and pain, and in extreme cases, scarring the surface of the eye.

You are not alone. Dry eye is very common – 48% of Americans aged 18 and over regularly suffer from dry eye symptoms. A recent Gallup poll found that 26 million Americans complain of dry eye, and this number is expected to increase as the population ages. Almost five million Americans aged 50 and older have clinically significant dry eye symptoms. Dry eye affects twice as many women than men.

What is Dry Eye?

Your eyes require an adequate and consistent layer of tears on the surface of the eye so keep them healthy and comfortable. Tears keep the surface of the eye moist and wash away debris, dust and microorganisms that could damage eyes and lead to an infection or other problems. The problem of dry eyes usually begins with the tears.

Tears

To understand dry eye, we need to understand the makeup of a healthy tear. Normal tears consist of three layers, each made up of different components:

1. An oily or lipid layer
2. An aqueous or watery layer
3. A mucous or mucin layer.

If there is a problem with any of these tear film parts, the tears can be unstable and result in dry eyes. It is generally recognized by scientists and eye care doctors that unstable tears are caused by the lipid layer not functioning properly. The lipid layer provides an effective barrier to evaporation and without it, tears break down and leave the eye dry.

What causes Dry Eyes?

A number of factors can increase your risk of dry eyes. These include:

Contact lens wear - Contact lens wear can contribute to dry eyes – it is a primary reason cited by many to stop wearing of their lenses.

Computer use- when at the computer or using the smartphone of other digital device people tend to blink less, resulting in more dry eye

Aging-Dry eye is more prevalent in people over 50

Menopause- post menopausal women risk dry eye due to hormonal changes.

Smoking- Smoking increases dry eye problems as well as increasing the risk of many ocular problems including macular degeneration and cataracts

Different environments – outside in cold, hot or dry weather even the dry conditions found on airplanes

Health conditions – certain diseases such as diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis can increase dry eye symptoms

Medications – Antihistamines, blood pressure medications, birth control and antidepressants can increase dry eye symptoms

LASIK- LASIK surgery and other corneal surgeries can cause dry eyes.

Meibomian Gland Disease (MGD) – the underlying cause of Dry Eye

The outermost layer of the tear film, the lipid layer, is created by oils from the Meibomian gland that lubricate and prevent tear evaporation. There are approximately 25 to 40 meibomian glands in the upper eyelid and 20 to 30 in the lower eyelid.

If these glands are obstructed or compromised, dry eye occurs. In fact, 86% of all patients with dry eyes have symptoms associated with an unstable tear film due to compromised Meibomian Gland function.

MGD is not only a chronic condition, but is also progressive – it will continue to get worse. If untreated, clogged or obstructed Meibomian glands will restrict and reduce oil production and eventually stop producing oil at all. If the gland atrophies, the result is constant discomfort and possible sight-threating damage to the ocular surface.

Risk factors for MGD

As with dry eyes, the risk of MGD increases with age; Individuals older than 40 have a much higher risk of developing it than young adults. In a study of 233 older adults (average age 63) 59 percent had at least one of sign of Meibomian gland dysfunction.

Ethnic background also plays a role. Studies have found that 46 to 69 percent of Asian populations in Thailand, Japan and China have meibomian gland dysfunction. By comparison, other studies found that 3.5 to 20 percent of Whites in the U.S. and Australia have MGD.

Wearing eye makeup is another contributing cause. Eyeliner, mascara and other makeup can clog the openings of meibomian glands. This is especially true if the eyelids aren’t thoroughly cleaned and all traces of eye makeup removed before sleep.

Some researchers believe wearing contact lenses also may increase the risk of MGD. Recent research has shown that alterations of the meibomian glands are associated with contact lens wear, and that discontinued use of contacts for up to six months doesn't eliminate these changes. It’s unclear whether contact lens wear actually causes meibomian gland dysfunction; most researchers believe additional study is required to determine if people who wear contacts have a greater risk of MGD.

How is MGD detected

The symptoms of meibomian gland dysfunction - dry eyes, irritated with a gritty feeling, blurred vision — are nearly the same as those of dry eye syndrome.
Only your eye doctor can tell for sure if you have MGD.

Dry Eye Tests

You need to visit your eye doctor and let him/her perform an eye exam to accurately determine if you have dry eye syndrome and how to best treat it.

Symptoms vary from person to person and your doctor can best determine the cause and best treatment to keep you eyes healthy, comfortable and seeing well.